Diet season is upon us. With spring right around the corner and bikini season not far behind it’s time to renew those New Year’s resolutions and get your booty in shape for summer! For many of us, it’s also time to think about a credit diet too. How about you? Are you starting to feel your budget getting tight with rising credit card bills? If so, it’s time to tighten your belt and shed some of those nagging bills. I recently asked questions to Can Arkali, principal scientist for analytics and scores development at FICO® and here are a few good reasons to trim your credit card balances, especially if you have any major financial goals – like buying a home or paying for college - this year.
How low do credit card balances need to be to increase my FICO® Score? Your credit utilization ratio - the percentage of your available credit you’re using - is an important factor in your FICO® Score. While there are no hard and fast rules for...
How you handle your credit can affect so many areas of your financial life, but here’s one you may not realize. Your insurance company is also watching your credit and modifies what you’re paying for insurance on your car, home, etc. based on your credit score. We all know that insurance isn’t cheap, so what do you need to know about your credit and insurance? Here are three important facts:
1. Your credit file can affect what you pay for insurance. Yes, it used to be that your record of claims on your insurance was what caused your auto insurance rates to go up or down – in addition to other factors. But now, whether you pay your credit card bill (and all your other bills) on time can also determine what kind of insurance rates you pay. The insurance companies have figured out that the better you handle your credit, the less likely you are to file claims on your insurance.
2. You have an ‘Insurance Score’ – You already know that you...
Unless you’ve been touched by it or have known someone who’s been a victim, you may not think much about identity theft. When Equifax Inc. announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers, hearing about this made me want to share how to start protecting yourself. We’re all likely to be affected by ID theft at some point if we haven’t been already; or worse, we’re being victimized right now and do not even know it.
The good news is we can each take simple steps to protect ourselves and our families and stop ID thieves in their tracks. Here are three easy actions you can take:
Do you want to build new accounts on your credit report? I have a way that can help you. FICO credit score likes types of credit on your credit report. Often times people are building credit with just secured credit cards. You can add an installment loan to your credit report. I found a lender that does this and it works differently from a typical loan. Rather than borrowing money up front, you make fixed monthly payments into a savings account for a specific period of time. The bank reports your payments to the credit bureaus, allowing you to build a new installment loan. At the end of the loan term, you can access the money in the savings account so I feel it is a win, win.
Here is my link to get this credit-builder loan:
Remember how I said FICO credit score is 35% payment history, so this can start helping with that part of the score. 30% are regarding balances so keep the credit card balance low. 10% of the score is types of credit, that is why if you get a...
No foolin’! Protecting your identity is no joke. These days thieves have become very sophisticated and they are amassing data that can be used for a multitude of crimes like filing your taxes and stealing your refund, or creating alternate identification to allude authorities or even worse have you charged for a crime you didn’t commit.
There are several ways to protect your identity, many of which you’ve heard about and are likely practicing. However, there are a few lesser known, lesser understood strategies that can give you better protection and more peace of mind.
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To Your Success~
Happy Spring! Perhaps you can relate to wanting a new beginning with your personal finances and credit as well? Spring is a perfect time, especially if you’re still dealing with paying off holiday shopping bills or are planning some major purchases like a home or a car this year. Think of the steps below as Spring Cleaning for your Credit. Follow this plan, and come summer vacation-time, you’ll feel as peaceful as a summer Sunday.
Dust – Have you checked your credit lately? If you haven’t pulled it in the last six months, it’s time to blow the dust off and take a look. Visit annualcreditreport.com or myfico.com to access your report. Checking your credit regularly prevents identity theft and fraud, and helps you stay on track with maintaining your healthy credit. Regular check-ins can help raise your score, especially if there are errors on your report that are costing you points.
Prune – Cut back on your revolving credit accounts. Having a...